Can someone petition their same sex partner to get a visa to come live in the US? 5 Answers as of February 21, 2011

Can a foreign gay or lesbian person apply for a visa to live with her/ her partner in the USA?

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Feldman Feldman & Associates, PC
Feldman Feldman & Associates, PC | Lynne Feldman
In some cases a B-2 (tourist visa) has been approved for long-term relationships but the Federal Defense of Marriage Act will not recognize a marriage between same-sex partners even if the marriage was legal in the state or country where it occurred. Best is to look for a longer term visa that the foreign national can qualify for irrespective of the relationship with a U.S. partner.

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Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 2/21/2011
Javia & Moore
Javia & Moore | Marisa-Andrea Moore
Currently, the federal government does not allow family petitions for same-sex couples. You may look into the possibility of an employment petition for your partner. This would require, among other things, finding a suitable employer willing to sponsor your partner. You should consult an immigration attorney.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 2/21/2011
Law Office of Immigration & International Trade Law
Law Office of Immigration & International Trade Law | Linda Liang
Sorry, Federal law does not recognize gay marriage yet. So you cannot.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 1/31/2011
Law Office of Christine Troy
Law Office of Christine Troy | Christine Troy
Unfortunately, not yet. US law is still discriminating against same sex couples. Instead the person must find a different way to be legally in the US, like an employment visa or student visa.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/31/2011
Fletcher, Tilton & Whipple, PC
Fletcher, Tilton & Whipple, PC | Kirk A. Carter
While some states, including my own, Massachusetts recognize gay marriage, and others recognize others recognize civil unions, the US does not recognize gay marriage and the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) specifically prohibits federal benefits (including immigration benefits) from being extended to same sex couples. While this law is being challenged in court , at the moment it is not possible for a gay or lesbian to sponsor their spouse for a green card. While gay foreign nationals who are here in the US for extended periods of time on certain work visas can bring their same sex spouses to the US on extended visitor visas, this benefit is not extended to US citizens. The best that you can do is to seek out a non-immigrant visa category for your significant other or spouse that will allow them to remain here in the US. Might they qualify for a student visa? Do they have a four year college degree that would qualify them for an H-1B work visa? Do they have enough money to start their own business and perhaps qualify under the E-2 treaty investor program? All these options should be explored with a qualified immigration attorney who is sensitive to the needs of same sex couples. Within the American Immigration Lawyers Association there is a Gay and Lesbian Interest Group (GLIG) which consists of professional immigration attorneys who specifically cater to the needs of the GLBT community and are aware of some of the traps and pitfalls that GLBT folks need to be most aware of - such as if the federal government doesn't recognize my marriage, should I list myself as being married or single?
Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
Replied: 1/31/2011
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